Beerlao, Beerlao, Beerlao. That's what you see everywhere in Laos. Walk down the street looking for a place to stay, 'BEERLAO' subheaeding 'guesthouse'. It is unbelievable! But anyway we arrived in laid back Luang Prabang, Laos. The streets are quite, there is lots of food and everywhere you look are limestone hills surrounding the place, which are truly fantastic when they are the foreground for a sunset.
Smack bang in the middle of town was a small hill and there was a temple on top which just made this place tens times better. Laung Prabang has a very roman-french feel to it, with all its paved streets and bakeries. The food is nothing short of amazing. For $3 i could buy spicy chicken on a stick, cooked on a bbq and get a loaf of banana bread. I am in heaven!
On the second day in Luang Prabang we rented scooters (PINK SCOOTERS) and traveled to the Kuang Si falls, about 32km out of town.
The first few seconds we a scary few. Apparently they drive on the right over hear, a fact that was made clearly apparent when a truck came charging towards me. whoops! We stop along the way to take in views and snack. When we arrived an odd site meet us. The water was turquoise. It looked really fake, as if it was a postcard from one of those water parks. We were assured that it was completely natural and was due to the minerals and springs further up stream. We had a dip in the refreshing waters before heading back to LP for the night.
We ventured out into the night markets where we came across snake whiskey!
They lady made us sit done before let us try every liqueur that she had to offer. There was snake whiskey, rice wine, rice wine with snake blood and Lao Lao. It was some very interesting stuff. The markets also had many wooden sculptures, bowls, chopsticks, chess sets as well as clothes and fabrics.
The next day we set out for a small trip around the surrounding hills. We started with a cycle from the city center up one of the rivers that feed into the Mekong. I was loving the ride so much that i didn't realise how fast i was going. Hill after hill we climbed and i didn't even feel tried in my legs, little did i know that was quietly killing our tour guide Twoy and give Carl a hard time.
After about an hour Twoy could take no more and asked for a break on top of a hill. He said he was amazed at how fit we were. We gave him a break and a drink and flew on. After another half hour we had finished the "3" hour ride section of the tour, so we rolled up our sleeves and had some lunch!
Once my mouth had recovered form a "no.... that's no spicy at all!" lunch we moved onto the kayaking. We jumped into our boats and paddled away. It was soon plane to see why Twoy was not fit at riding, it was because he was to top heavy! No matter how fast we paddled we could never pass him and every time we tried he would punish us we a water soaking. I resorted to trying to sneak passed him through some of the water side over growth but failed miserably.
As the paddling was hard work we took a break from it and let the current pull us down stream. As a result of this a full day kayak group court up to us just as we went through a rapid section that Carl and I did not see coming. Next thing we knew we were up side downside down and swimming with the fishes. Unlike a normal person, who would flip the boat and climb back in, Carl decided it would be a better idea to climb on top of the over turned boat. Boy did we look like a bunch of newbies. We paddled on and chatted with the other group before hitting more rapids to round off our adventurous day.
That Night we wanted a nice dinner for once, not just the stuff on the street. Before you know it we walked into a very nice restaurant where we were lead out the back. We got a very uncomfortable vibe from the place. It had water fountains, blossoming flowers and low lights. Our orders came out and then 'bang' the put down a plate of rice in the shape of a love heart. That was enough to through us over the edge. We scoffed down our food, through down our money and ran out covering our faces! "Never again will we eat in a place that has a water fountain out the front" we vowed hahaha.
We spent another day in LP getting massages, even tho i don't think i could call mine a massage (I swear she was trying to push me through the floor). Then we headed off to Vang Vieng. It was a gross trip by bus! After 6 back breaking hours we had arrive in Vang Vieng. First thought, "what a hole!", but that just turned out to be the bus station. Once again when we arrived in the town center it was beerlao this and beerlao that. I mean really, if beerlao wanted to they could use the advertising campaign to brainwash the population and over throw the government!
Walking around we ran into this Australian guy who had traveled to VV and never left. He put us up into his ute and drove us around to find us a nice guesthouse to stay in. What a champ, Aussie always say mate to strangers and i can see why. Day one of VV was filled with sleeping off the bus ride and tubing. We had no information about tubing at all, only that it existed in VV. After a small wander around we asked some dero looking blokes and they sent us to the first bar via tuk tuk. The Tuk tuk pulled up at the end of a very long bumpy road and we jumped out and set of in search of tubes. It was soon very obvious that you had to get your tubes in town, so we winged it and swam down the river from bar to bar. The water was cool, the beers were cold and the views was astonishing. They had loads of slippery slides and 15 meter high trapezes leading into the water which made it ten times more awesome.
The next day it was way to cold for anything and i was force to buy a jumper to keep warm. We spent the day resting and eating all the not so good food. Ever place had the same menu and none of them cooked it very well. The one highlight was the banana pancakes for breakfast. YUM YUM! The third day we book a half day climbing tour which was stupid of us because it was so awesome that we really need a full day of it. The limestone walls were perfect for climbing and the height really got you heart racing! I will defiantly be returning to climb these walls one day.